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David Rowell
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Deadly Truck Accident Kills 3

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A big rig truck accident in Orange County killed 3 and injured 2 more. A federal agency investigating the collision found 15 safety violations.

The big rig, operated by Michigan-based K.W. Express, plowed into the back of a minivan on Interstate 5 in Mission Viejo in May, killing 3 children under 6 yeas old. The childrens’ mother and grandmother were also seriously injured. After the collision, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began an investigation. As a result of the investigation, the agency cited K.W. Express for 15 safety violations.

The truck driver, Jorge Miguel Romero, 37, told police he was traveling 55 to 60 mph when traffic suddenly slowed and he couldn’t stop in time. He was not hurt in the crash, which remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Inspectors found K.W. Express allowed five drivers to take the wheel before the results of their drug screenings were turned in, and there was no written policy regarding substance abuse, administration spokesman Duane J. DeBruyne said.

In dozens of cases, drivers did not prepare proper vehicle inspection reports, he said.